It is estimated that there are nearly 50,000 people around the world that are in need of heart transplants. The average wait time for a donor heart is four to six months. For a patient with end-stage heart failure, a ventricular assist device or total artificial heart may be viable options to serve as a bridge to heart transplantation (Trivedi, 2014).
The symptoms of heart failure can be treated in several ways depending on the severity of illness. In early stages, non-invasive strategies such as life style changes, including diet and exercise, are usually recommended (Dumitru, 2015). These non-pharmacologic therapies include dietary sodium and fluid restriction, physical activity as appropriate, and attention to weight. Life style changes are usually accompanied by medication in the hopes of stopping and even reversing the manifestations of heart failure. The most common medications used are diuretics, vasodilators, inotropic agents, anticoagulants, beta-blockers, and digoxin. As heart failure progresses, more invasive medical intervention becomes necessary. The more invasive therapies include intervention such as pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, bypass grafting and ventricular restoration (Dumitru, 2015).
Although these treatments do alleviate the symptoms of heart failure and improve the patient’s quality of life, they are not considered a cure for the disease. As of today, the only curative therapy for heart failure is a heart transplant (Dumitru, 2015). Unfortunately, heart transplants are not always available when needed due to the limited availability of donor hearts. Worldwide there are fewer than 4,000 donor hearts available, and as the need for donor hearts continues t...
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...hambers are called ventricles (VEN-trih-kuls). You might benefit from a TAH if both of your ventricles don 't work due to end-stage heart failure. (https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/tah)
Contraindications for TAH
Patient management with LVAD
Patient Management TAH
Total Artificial Heart and Physical Therapy Management (has images) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2879422/)
When progressive end-stage heart failure occurs despite maximal medical therapy, when the prognosis is poor, and when there is no viable therapeutic alternative, the criterion standard for therapy has been heart transplantation. However, mechanical circulatory devices such as ventricular assist devices (VADs) and total artificial hearts (TAHs) can bridge the patient to transplantation; in addition, VADs are increasingly being used as permanent therapy.
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